"Dr. Google" is a term coined by medical offices to describe a very recent phenomenon of diagnosing human and animal health problems by what you've read on the internet. While Google and other search engines are a wonderful resource for information, nothing can match the care and diagnosis of your veterinarian.
So here's 5 reasons why your vet is better than Dr. Google:
Dr. Google can't do an exam.Your veterinarian can do a thorough physical examination to determine if your pet is displaying any warning signs of illness. They are trained to find the little signs that even the most dedicated and loving pet owners might miss. When you diagnose simply on googling symptoms you see, you may be missing important things or hidden connections.
Anyone can post things on the internet.Anyone with a computer or smartphone and internet access can post on the internet. There is a lot of conflicting information on animal husbandry and medical care on the internet because of this. The internet is a great resource to find new ideas and information about your pet, but when it comes to medical issues, it's always best to consult a professional who knows or can get to know your pet well.
Dr. Google can't do bloodwork or diagnostic tests.Google has a lot of information about illnesses, but it cannot run bloodwork on your pet or decide which diagnostic tests need to be done to determine what the issue is. Often, outward symptoms can be a sign of many different illnesses or diseases and the only way to determine what is wrong with your pet is to take a look at what's going on inside - by doing x-rays, ultrasounds, bloodwork, or exploratory surgery.
Dr. Google can't prescribe medication or treatment.Often, the best course of treatment for your pet involves prescription medications or in-house treatments like laser therapy or even surgery. There are only so many over the counter medications that are safe for your pet (and even those should only be given at the direction of a veterinarian!) and most medications like antibiotics, pain medications, etc. are prescription only. Only your veterinarian has the power to prescribe medications for your pet's unique needs.
If a condition is let go, it can get worse and more expensive to treat.Dr. Google can often misdiagnose. Misdiagnosis can lead to letting the real issue go for longer than it needs to, which can often lead to other issues and a more expensive and extensive treatment. Checking out issues with your veterinarian can lead to a correct diagnosis much faster, allowing your pet to be healthy much faster.
BONUS: Your veterinarian loves your pet... Dr. Google does not!
Google is a great resource for gathering information about a diagnosis your doctor makes for your pet, knowing what questions to ask during your appointment, and to find out further information. The internet has opened up a whole new world of information for us. But never use Google to diagnose your pet's health problems or to treat them yourself. This can be dangerous. So use Dr. Google to expand your information - not to create it!